Best tele pickups for classic rock?


Hey guys.

I'm looking to upgrade the pups on my Tele. I mainly play classic rock/arena rock (Kansas,The Jam, Boston, Europe, Queen). I look at this website and find some variants, but i wanna buy good tele, so i need help. My budget is little over $100, if that's possible. I'd like to stay as low as possible, though.

If at all possible, please post sound samples or a testing video or something along with the pups you have suggested.

Thanks in advance.


I have a set of Bill Lawrence Keystone pick ups in my Tele and am very happy with them. After trying my Tele two of my friends bought the same pick ups. Made and sold by Becky Lawrence and family right here in the USA and well with in your budget. Thanks john


I put these Tonerider Hot Classics in my parts Tele and I couldn’t be happier. Hot and spanky. I can see these being great for all sorts of music. About $90 last time I checked.


I like the Lollar Special T bridge and neck pickup set, as well as the Lawrence Keystone set mentioned earlier in this thread.


The Fralin Blues Special work well for me. I have the 4-way switch as well.


I'm looking to upgrade the pups on my Tele. I mainly play classic rock/arena rock (Kansas,The Jam, Boston, Europe, Queen)

How in the world did the Jam slip in there?


I appreciate the ask was for $100 in total and so my suggestion is a bit of a budget buster at $200 for the set - but I have Fralin overwound high output tele and a 4-way switch setup which is very versatile. As a bonus you get Don Rich and Clarence White twang in spades if you lay off the distortion. You'll probably also want to consider using a compressor pedal in combination with distortion. Another eye opener on the tele was running a preamp pedal. I replaced the saddles and bridge hardware with Callaham parts which improved the tone and sustain somewhat. Getting the pickup height right was crucial to the tone and so before you invest you might try some adjustments and see if you can achieve an improvement with what you have(!). Probably not an option for most tele owners wanting to retrofit - but nevertheless cool - I have been listening/watching some Jason Mozersky (Ben Harper/Relentless7) lately. He's got a '51 reissue with a Seymour Duncan Charlie Christian in the neck position (routing required). Some pretty amazing heavy tones coming out of that rig and Jason is quite a player. The Charlie Christian pickup in a Tele looks classy and exotic. Good luck!


I have a set of Fralin SPs in my Tele. Got them used for $100. Works well for me.

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